Alternative Prom & Beach Cleaning

By Hallandale Beach Mayor, Joy Cooper

June 8, 2021

Beach cleaning is a very important job in every beach front community. I (Mayor, Joy Cooper) along with my colleagues have received many calls regarding beach cleaning and I want to apologize on behalf of our city for the recent problems we have encountered.

This past Friday, Gulfstream Park hosted an Alternative Prom for our 2021 Graduates, along with many sponsors. The event was put together by Eve Paul of Chateau De Everose, an amazing and creative Hallandale Beach event planner. She put on, an amazing event. I want to thank the sponsors and donors; Gulfstream Park, Rodrigues Charities, Big Easy, Stephanie Grutman, Esq., Tell Robert Foundation, Burkhardt Construction, Dr. Lev Randius, Synalovski Romaninik Saye, Vice Mayor Butler, Commissioners; Javellana, Lazarow and Lima-Taub, Mayor Cooper and vendors; Renew Salads and Smoothies, Dunn’s River Island Café, Amare Balloons and Her Dreams Creations.

Beach cleaning is a very important job in every beachfront community. I, along with my colleagues, have received many calls regarding beach cleaning and I wanted to apologize, on behalf of our City, for the recent problems that we have encountered.

Over the past months, there have been two major issues. One failure is directly in response, due to our Public Works Department's Directors for not renewing our beach cleaning permit, which is regulated by the State Fish and Wildlife Commission.

Many of our residents that live on the beach and our environmentalists, are aware that we have turtle nesting that occurs on our small stretch of beach. Every day, the beach during turtle season must be inspected for nests, before cleaning. The inspection is done by a Marine Permit Holder authorized by the FWC. If we do not renew the permits, we cannot clean for 65 days, during the season.

This was one of the reasons that we were held up over the past months, but, most importantly, our beach cleaning equipment kept breaking down. We have equipment that rakes and another piece that rolls our beach. The rack equipment broke down to the extent, that it could not be repaired, however, the rolling equipment was working and then, the tractor that pulls it broke down as well. Equipment on the beach, has a short life for the obvious reason of exposure to sea salt.

At a recent meeting, we approved an emergency purchase for a new beach cleaner that can rake the beach. In the meantime, we have been using, the roller. I do need to thank the City of Hollywood for partnering with us, as a backup, when our equipment was down. In years past, we had partnered with them, I then informed the staff of this possibility and it worked out.

When everything is in place, permits and equipment, there are still strict guidelines. Only equipment with 10-PSI tire pressure, can operate on the beach and cleaning equipment, must not penetrate more than two inches into the beach's surface. All materials collected, must then, be removed from the beach and we must also keep equipment, 10 feet from plantings.

The FWC statement, when it comes to cleaning, is as follows. “Beach cleaning, involves the removal of material left by the tides or beach goers, on Florida's sandy shorelines. Stranded seaweed provides an important food source for beach and near-shore food chains and should be left in place when possible. Human debris can pose a hazard to humans and animals and should be removed.“

This leaves some leeway, when it comes to the removal of seaweed. I need to note, due to the active beach, here, in our City, we will get seaweed and in some cases, an abundance. We also do not want to lose equipment or have it stranded going too far east of the high tide line? It is a balance that, as of the writing of this article, the equipment came in and is now, in service.

Over the past year, many items and projects were approved but due to lack of oversight and turnover, these projects had languished. I am happy to report, that under the leadership of our new City Manager, Dr. Jeremy Earle, Assistant City Manager, Naomi Sandoval and Director of Public Works, Jeff Odom’s many projects, are now being designed and queued up, for construction.

Back in 2015, the Commission embarked on evaluating our entire City’s infrastructure, through a Basis of Design Report, it had mapped out everything in our City, made suggestions as to what needed to be addressed, it also included the water systems, the drainage systems, the wastewater systems, the roadways and the sidewalks.

The Commission started to discuss these projects, but, the CRA picked up, the above ground projects in the CRA, as they had the ability to fund the projects. The City focused on sidewalks with a plan to repair, replace and add ADA crosswalks and this plan is moving forward with help, from Broward County.

At the last Commission Meeting, we had approved many other projects to move into the designs phase. Water distribution, water connection to North Maimi Beach, the addition of a new water production skid to our water plant, Layne Boulevard Water Line Replacement, Stormwater Master Plan System, two Lift station replacements and a force main replacement. In these cases, there have been funds in our water and wastewater accounts, that are earmarked.

The BODR, contains hundred of millions of dollars of infrastructure, that is at end of its life and is in need of, replacement. While we continue to work on grants and other funding sources, within the next year and half, we will be developing a proposal for a Government Obligation Bond. Many cities are in the process or have already, done the same. Hollywood and Fort Lauderdale have passed bonds recently and we as a City, will need to come together and make these improvements. Our City Manager, said it best. In summary, he stressed that we do not want to be like Fort Lauderdale with failing pipes that impact our environment, which lead to fines, we have seen this begin to happen with many water main breaks and the recent sewer leak in the Three Islands area.

I will continue to update our readers, as these projects move forward.

As always, feel free to contact me anytime with your questions, concerns and ideas on how to make our City, a great place to live, work and play! I am available on my phone or text at: (954) 632-5700. E-mail me at: jcooper@cohb.org. Or visit my Facebook Mayor Joy Cooper. You can also go to my web-site at: www.MayorJoyCooper.com.